Legacy Scholars

Design and create a future of your own.

Legacy Scholars targets historically underrepresented students who demonstrate a strong commitment to their education and are interested in pursuing post-baccalaureate opportunities within one year of graduating from UNI. This two-year program is designed to help students discover their fullest potential beyond a four-year degree. But even more, the program is designed to provide a brave space where dreams are created and future legacies are shaped.

Program Requirements

Ideal candidates should be junior-standing at the start of the program with four semesters of undergraduate studies remaining.  Students must demonstrate strong academic potential and be at least one of the following:

  • eligible for federal Pell Grant
  • a first-generation college student
  • from an underrepresented background

Involvement Opportunities

Legacy Scholars programming will address individual needs while providing a sense of community among peers, staff members and faculty. Legacy Scholars should expect to:

  • attend monthly seminars throughout their junior and senior years
  • participate in one-on-one coaching sessions in between the monthly seminars
  • complete a Legacy Scholars Summer Experience between their junior and senior years
  • design and create graduate application materials with the guidance of campus professionals

There are several opportunities for funding to support experiences and expenses associated with graduate school preparation.

Questions? Contact Honors & Scholars Program Coordinator, Kylie Knecht, at kylie.knecht@uni.edu

Legacy Scholar Student Profiles

Spring 2023 Graduate

Emma Pellegrino

Emma Pellegrino

B.A. Biology, Chemistry Minor

Emphasis in Honors Research

Attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison Molecular and Environmental Toxicology PhD program


"This was the first space that I didn’t feel ashamed of how little I knew about graduate school. Now, those in my cohort are preparing for our graduate programs, knowing that we belong in higher education and can bring that capability and confidence with us beyond Legacy Scholars. "

Spring 2023 Graduate

Esha Jayswal

Esha Jayswal

B.A. Accounting and Economics

Lux Service Award Recipient

Working as a Corporate and Investment Banking analyst for Wells Fargo


"This program allowed me to build a community with students from various backgrounds and learn from their diverse experiences. It gave me mentorship to discover my potential and pursue my bold dreams."